June 6, 2014

The Journey Of The Tragic Hero

VA HT May 2011 088 (Medium)
Quiet Moments
I apologize for the rather scattered nature of my last post, but hopefully you were sufficiently distracted by pictures of pus and PONY!


I have been thinking a lot about this blog lately (among other things, my brain is a hamster on drugs, remember).  Because there is a conundrum.  Longtime readers know that my writing (ok, world) centers around Solo and his big little brother, eventing, horsemanship, and associated topics. 

As our Facebook page notes, it focuses on “being an adult amateur, putting your horse first, and fighting for your goals in a sport that has no mercy for the unprepared or faint of heart (or wallet).”  Aside from an occasional note about the unique challenges (and sometimes awesomeness) of my real job, my personal life is, well, personal.  For myself, the latter is neither relevant nor appropriate content re: my mission statement.

That being said, those of you who have been wonderful supporters along the way also know that my policy is 100% open honesty (pretty sure that’s redundant but my level of give-a-shit is low right now).  Result: conundrum.


But I think I have made a decision (reference said hamsters above while laughing about lack of decisiveness in statement of decision).  Although TFS (Team Flying Solo) is an entity I often reference, as is (now) FSF (Flying Solo Farm), the title of this blog remains “We Are Flying Solo:  The Journey Of A Horse & His Girl.”  Just like Solo’s name, there are many layers there, but our story IS about the journey.  And no journey (except maybe a really boring one) is complete or worthwhile without highs AND lows.

Go Pandas! They get to wear polos now?!
If perchance anyone who went to high school with me reads this post, they will giggle at the title along with me.  But it is also A Thing.  I had the same, phenomenal, AP English teacher both my sophomore & senior year of high school.

Mrs. Bricking was the kind of teacher who challenges you to constantly raise the bar, with the motive of opening the minds and eyes of 15-18 year-olds, who are sure they know everything, to a broader view of the world, and the powerful themes and tools that great literature provides.

Spiderman Fail
I totally just used Spiderman; but he fits
Which brings me to the title:  it was there I learned about this nearly ubiquitous tool of story-telling.  The “Tragic Hero” is the main character, usually the protagonist (read:  good guy/woman/thing), and we love her (gender pronoun chosen for simplicity).

She is rife with good qualities, but she always has a “Tragic Flaw,” an Achilles heel, which is required, otherwise you wouldn’t have a story!  It may be an unrequited love, a physical weakness, a negative personality trait, what have you.

As a result, she travels the worn path of the “Tragic Journey.”  Its outcome is uncertain, but there will always be a build-up, a “Tragic Fall” (yeah, everything is Tragic, LOL, goes back to the Greek Tragedies of Sophocles and his peers) to the nadir, the lowest point of the journey.  The Hero(ine) must then struggle to rise from this nadir in order to triumph (or not) in the end.  Think about your favourite movie or book plots – see it?


Hardly.  But that is how I arrived at my conclusion that there is a story that I have not yet written down which needs to be told, because it most certainly is not only a part, but both initiates and shapes OUR entire journey.

A few of you know the details, but I experienced my own nadir in a trauma like no other several years ago (not horse-related) and it continues to haunt my steps.  No doubt you have noticed a change in the blog and I can tell you that it is not, in large part, due to the purchase and move to the farm.  Rather, the reverse is the case, where Flying Solo Farm was born of the Tragic Fall in an attempt to salvage what pieces of the future remained.

Uwharrie Ride 3_10 004 resize
BFF & the amazing Texas Pete at Uwharrie NF

So I hope that you can be patient with me as the epileptic hamster tries to find his way back to the wheel in the dark.  Blindfolded.  On three legs.

I do count myself very lucky in having BFF and Erica, who have been unbelievably awesome help, along with THREE incredible neighbours, the wonderful network of Area II Adult Riders and the eventing community. 

They’ve got my six and I am also thankful every day to my mother, who helped make it possible for me to have the most wonderful scenery ever, including my two orange buddies, in which to negotiate the maze and find my way back to this woman.

Gallop (or walk, or just hug) on and don’t worry:  my ridiculous dorkiness and penchant for crazy adventures which never go according to plan remains intact, so you need not cry yourself to sleep that your life shall be unfulfilled without the TFS posts (haha).  Writing is wonderfully cathartic and I hope to continue to share posts with you and of course am reading all of yours!  

And I am still determined as ever to get my amazing Encore (daily thanks too, CANTER MA!) to a T3DE, it’s just going to take a little longer than planned (oh wait, it was a horse plan, that’s a given).

Evening therapy sessions by the pond
One very tired Eventer79 --



  1. My mantra lately is "my blog, my rules." I would be interested in this story you have to tell, and wish you the best.

    1. It's funny, I've had this post in my head for a while sort of half written and a couple hours before I sat down to write it, I read yours and had to laugh. While not exactly in the same vein, we both posted about posting at the same time, hah! Thank you.

  2. Amen... I also find writing cathartic... I've read some criticism of mine and thought, that's ok... My blog is a journey - mostly of thoughts, feelings and stuff... Whatever comes out, was meant to be! You have my support....

    1. Thanks and good for you - my theory on blogs (or the whole interwebz) is if you don't like it, don't read it. Unless it's really entertaining mega-drama and you can't resist... ;)

  3. I am also interested to read your story - I am going through a (horse related) dark time right now and am struggling to cope. If I could read how people I respect get through things, I think that would be a big help to me.

    Hope you are able to open your heart to us but at the same time I understand if it is not something you wish to share with the world.


    1. Thanks, Lisa -- and the best advice I can offer is to never stop reaching out. Build a good support network and use it. Don't be afraid to ask for help (I suck at this, ask BFF, heh) and try and remember that you are never alone. My life motto is "Nothing lasts forever" for this reason. It's gotten me through a lot of hellacious things! Things can go on for a long time, but good or bad, nothing is infinite, so even when it is hardest, we have to try to find the good and endure the bad.

  4. If sharing helps you heal, then go for it! But I do know that sometimes it's a tough call, as you want to be honest but you want to keep some parts of your life personal/private. Whatever you feel is best for you is the right call.
    ((((Hugs)))), beer, and Xanax-laced brownies to you, girl!

    1. LOL, Frizz, you always make me laugh. I wish I could buy beer, but I doubt that would be a very helpful solution, albeit a tasty one.

  5. I like you. I'll read whatever you write unless you go all 50 shades of orange on me. ;-)

    It's always a hard call to decide how much real life seeps into horse blogging. On the one hand, I've found readers are incredibly receptive and understanding. On the other hand, personal information published on the internet totally weirds me out. Have at it!

    1. Bahahaha, well, I would hope my fellow literature snobs would convene an intervention if there was a hint of 50 Shades Of I'm Embarrassed For The Author. Although that racemare named "Fiftyshadesofhay" well, that's just brilliant.

      And you are spot on. While, naturally, it's always blogger's choice, details weird me out too. Like the whole hospital bed picture thing? Not that I think less of anyone, I'm just a very private person, so I feel like I accidentally walked in on someone in the bathroom or something!!

      No, there shall be no gory details or uncomfortable intimacy -- I'm as aggressively territorial about my mental personal space as I am about my physical space: NO TOUCHING! Heh.

  6. I think too that whatever is on your mind and needs to be written can be used in a post :) and true, who does not want to read - does not have to!

  7. I find blogging therapeutic....and I love the honesty found in blogs as opposed to what you find on Facebook. We were talking about this coming home from and event yesterday. Facebook updates "we were 4th, yay!" Truth...the person got a 97 in dressage and was told the horse is not ready to even do a dressage test - 4 people in the division. None of this matters to me - but in reality, it just isn't honest. I find bloggers are more apt to be honest, and that is why I love following their journeys.

  8. Revisiting this post a year later knowing a lot more. I just wanted to say if you ever want a smaller (as in audience of one) to hear some or all of your story I'm only an email away. I know a little bit about the journey now unfortunately.

    1. Thank you for this, SMTT. <3 My heart breaks for you because I know that terrible place & I never want anyone nice to ever have to go there. (hug) You know the reciprocal is true.

      I have written things, as that is how I process, but only for myself. So many tangled threads still... I do know now that it will never hurt less & some questions we just may never get answers too, but there is a lot of love & support out there in the world. And the gift of being loved enormously & unconditionally, even for a short while, can carry us a long way. All things have an end, but a rich in-between can soften the blow a bit with time. Apparently a lot of time, despite my demands to my subconscious, which, by the way, never listens. :S